Jan. 19, 2017
With less than two days to go and over 200,000 people registered, the organizers of the Women’s March have decided now would be a good time to clear up the some of the ambiguity that has been surrounding the event since its creation back in November. Not only has there been confusion about logistics of the event (where they will march, bus parking, permits, etc.), but the purpose of the event has remained vague, stating a simple but admirable mission to stand together for the protection of women’s rights.
On board with the mission statement of the march, New Wave Feminists, a pro-life feminist group, applied and was successfully admitted to be an organized partner at the Women’s March, which takes place at the U.S. Capitol on January 21. Seeing their name on the partner list along with groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America gave pro-life feminists hope for the women’s rights movement – proof that the organizers are truly seeking diversity and unity by welcoming women from all different ideologies and walks of life. Are we finally getting past the narrow-minded approach that says only women who are pro-abortion can fight for women’s rights?
But the glimmer of hope we felt with New Wave Feminists’ breakthrough soon diminished when pro-abortion feminists immediately took to social media to bash the organizers of the Women’s March for their decision to allow pro-life women to march alongside them.
Very kind and tolerant things were said, such as:
It didn’t take long for the organizers to cave to their demands and remove New Wave Feminists as an organized partner for the march. In a statement issued Monday evening, they apologized for this “error,” saying that “our platform is pro-choice, and that has been our stance since day one.” For the record, nowhere on their website or social media accounts had they ever mentioned having a pro-choice agenda.
Choosing a pro-choice platform for a movement that is supposed to be for all women is disheartening for a variety of reasons, primarily because it alienates roughly half of the women in this country. It also shows there is much work to be done in bridging the generational gap in the modern-day feminist movement. The feminist movement that grew out of the sexual revolution and fought for abortion rights is changing. Studies have shown that millennials increasingly oppose abortion, and Generations Y and Z are the most pro-life generations since Roe v. Wade, thanks to technology advances such as ultrasounds that show just how human unborn babies actually are (not clumps of tissue). Remember when NARAL slammed Doritos for their Super Bowl commercial and everyone just rolled their eyes?
As a pro-life millennial, this is what encourages me even when I see pro-lifers constantly shoved aside and told their voices aren’t welcome at the human rights table. We recognize that the women’s movement has grown tremendously around the world in the last decade, and many of these women hold different views on abortion than Gloria Steinem – seeing motherhood as an empowering choice that strengthens their communities, not as a weakness that limits them.
Feminism has expanded to mean education rights, fighting against domestic violence, ending human trafficking, and so much more, and yet the world will watch on January 21 as the U.S. reduces it to abortion rights.
When pro-life feminists are excluded from solving issues that women face today, some of the greatest female minds are left out. Why are we jeopardizing the advancement of women’s rights for the sake of agreement on one issue, especially if views on that one issue are equally divided among women in this country? It’s difficult enough for women to fight for their voices to be heard in a male-dominant society. Disqualifying women from the feminist movement only hurts our cause.
To the women who are fed up with being silenced and told that their opinion doesn’t matter, we must come together and see beyond what the liberal feminist agenda demands of us. We may not see eye-to-eye on every issue, but that should not prohibit us from fighting to protect the rights of women and children in the U.S. and around the globe.
A quote taken directly from the Women’s March website ironically explains why:
“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” -Audre Lorde